FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lexington, Ky. ---- August 18, 2018 ----- Defending champion Tori Colvin rose to the occasion, achieving an impressive 16.5-point victory over her peers to capture the $289,730 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Aboard Brad Wolf's Private Practice, Colvin earned near-perfect base scores of 96, 95, and 96 and earned 28 of the 30 available handy bonus points for the victory.
"Tori's horse jumped every fence exactly the same. She never changed pace, and that separated her. There's no question," said judge Carleton Brooks. "Tori never missed a lick from the moment she walked in the ring. It was the Tori Colvin we all know and love right there."
Victoria Colvin piloted Private Practice, owned by Brad Wolf, to win the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Photo credit: Shawn McMillen Photography.
Colvin, known for rarely walking courses, admitted she did step foot in the Rolex Stadium before the Handy Hunter Round. "I went in the ring. I glanced today, but there really wasn't anything to walk," she said laughing. "But, I went in there."
"Yesterday he was really good," Colvin said of the 8-year-old Holsteiner (by Lordanos). "He hasn't been in this ring, and so he was a little greener than he was today. Today he stepped in and was fantastic and jumped everything and every jump as a 20, and he jumped out of his skin. He really rose to the occasion."
Owner Brad Wolf was equally impressed. "I've had some pretty nice horses, but I've never seen a horse jump like that," he said. "I want to thank Tom Wright and the Ingrams. It's because of them that we're here. John (Ingram) has the best team behind him. It's been nice to come along with him, and it's because of this team that we're here."
Tori Colvin and Brad Wolf's Private Practice were presented with numerous awards and a check for $48,929.60 for their win in the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Credit: Louise Taylor/USHJA
With Holly Shepherd, of Grand Bay, Alabama, in the lead going into Handy after a tremendous Classic Hunter Round in the pouring rain, the excitement of this year's Handy Hunter was palpable in the Kentucky Horse Park's Rolex Stadium. The horses and riders didn't disappoint.
It was first-time Championship contender Dorothy "Dorrie" Douglas, aboard MTM One Time, who set the pace for what was to become the most competitive USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship in its 10-year history.
Douglas went 13th in the Section A order, riding the 7-year-old Holsteiner (Chin Champ-Lorentina) owned by MTM Farm in Flower Mound, Texas. She received all 30 bonus points possible and posted scores of 93, 88 and 91 to take over the early lead with 580 points. That score would ultimately carry her to sixth overall in Section A and first in Section B, which allows riders who are newer to the Derby system the opportunity to earn additional prize money. Douglas earned more than $24,000 for MTM Farm.
"It's taken 10 years to get where we are, and today's class to me was the hardest," said Ron Danta, chair of the USHJA International Hunter Derby and Incentive Task Force. "You set the pace Dorrie. With 10, 10, 10 in the Handy... and I mean everybody rose to the occasion, and it was a phenomenal class. The exciting thing is owners want to own Derby horses and Green Incentive horses. The Hunters were dying for a long time, and I think it's what we've needed, and I'm very proud of it."
Elizabeth Boyd rode Clemens, owned by Finally Farm and Westerly Farm, to a second-placed finish in the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter D erby Championship. Photo credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
When three-time Championship winner Liza Boyd entered the ring aboard the first of her two entries, Clemens, owned by Finally Farm and Westerly Farm, she knew she had to be at the top of her game. She had a lot on her mind, and the in-and-out, vertical-to-vertical option was one weighing on many riders' minds.
"I had enough things to stress about, so I just let Jack [Towell] tell me what to do [on that one]," said Boyd. "He had helped Daisy Farish earlier in the Derby Challenge. They had something similar. However, he had a big long speech about how it worked out for Daisy, so I just listened to what he said and didn't stress. So thank you, Jack."
Boyd went on to earn base scores of 91, 92 and 89 with 29 bonus points with Clemens.
Boyd returned to the ring on Maggie Hill's Tradition and delivered another solid round, earning 27 bonus points and base scores of 87.75, 91 and 90 for a two-day total of 584.25 and a third-placed finish overall.
Elizabeth Boyd and Tradition, owned by Maggie Hill, earned third place in the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship. Photo credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
As the final contenders on course, first-day leaders Holly Shepherd and Tybee, owned by Helen Brown, delivered a strong round, posting base scores of 89.5, 88.5 and 84.25 and earning 27 bonus points for fourth place.
"Going back on top always seems like the most nerve-wracking place to be, and my horse was definitely reading that from me tonight," she said. "And, I was a little conservative a couple of places where I shouldn't have been, but he was amazing, and it was awesome to be here."
Holly Shepherd, of Grand Bay, Alabama, earned a fourth-placed finish in the Championship aboard Helen Brown's Tybee. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
As the Championship celebrated its 10th year of crowning the best Hunters, this year's event featured $289,730 in prize money, with $231,784 paid out to Section A competitors and $57,946 paid out to Section B competitors. The top-placing Section A rider will also receive a $1,000 rider bonus, and the top-placing Section B rider will receive a $500 rider bonus, donated by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw.
The competition in the Rolex Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park featured a beautiful Handy Hunter course designed by Alan Lohman and Danny Moore. The creative fences, supplied by Jumps By Fuzzy and CCI Jump, included decorations reminiscent of a beautiful hunt field with lush trees and colorful flowers in full bloom.
The overall feeling of the course was to simulate cantering through hunt country, with natural jumps of planks and logs. The fence heights ranged from 3'6" to 4' and offered riders an opportunity to pick up bonus points by taking any one or all of the four option fences.
The 11-obstacle course featured several areas where riders could show off their handiness with tight turns and rollbacks. Four high options were offered at 4'3" and 4'6" in addition to a trot fence at fence 7.
The judges included Carleton Brooks and Holly Orlando (Panel 1), Bobbie Reber and Chance Arakelian (Panel 2) Chris Wynne and Shane George (Panel 3), who were placed in strategic positions around the Sheila C. Johnson Ring.
The Handy Hunter scoring included three components. Each judging panel gave their base score for each horse-and-rider combination based on accepted Handy Hunter judging principles. Then, each panel gave a High Option Bonus Score (the number of higher fences jumped) followed by the Handy Bonus score. The Handy Bonus Score consists of between 0-10 points based on each judging panel's opinion of how handily the round was ridden, such as brilliance, pace and tighter turns.
This year, the riders once again contested a tiered Handy Hunter Round format. The top 25 pairs from Friday's Classic Hunter Round returned for action in the Section A Handy Hunter Round, with 13 horses shown by Tier I Riders and 12 horses shown by Tier II Riders.
The Section B Handy Hunter Round included a field of 21 riders, with nine jumping for Section B money only. The scores for the 12 Tier II Riders in the Section A Handy Hunter Round carried over to the Section B Handy Hunter Round and Overall Standings.
"It's great," said Douglas of the Section B prize money. "Anything to contribute back to the MTM family. I mean the number of horses Mike McCormick and Tracy Fenney have on their bill...it's a lot of pressure, and to be able to help in any way and to pay, it's a complete honor."
Dorothy Douglas and MTM One Time, owned by MTM Farm, were awarded numerous prizes for their win in Section B and sixth-placed finish in the Overall Championship. Credit: Louise Taylor/USHJA
For Colvin's performance, she received the Beaver River Farm Perpetual Trophy along with a custom CWD saddle as the winning rider, and Private Practice was awarded the Wrenwood Farm Trophy for owner Brad Wolf.
Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell, of New York, New York, earned the top Junior-Owner Rider Award in the Championship aboard Early Winter, while Kelley Corrigan, of Lexington, Kentucky, earned the top Amateur-Owner Rider Award for her performance aboard Privateer.
Jacob Pope received this year's Rider Style Award. The award, presented by Bill Rube, went to the rider who best displayed the American style of riding in the ring and sportsmanship outside of the competition arena. The recipient will serve as a role model for preserving the integrity of the sport and maintaining a standard of excellence and tradition in his or her riding.
Pope, of Wellington, Florida, won the 2011 USHJA Emerging Athletes Program National Training Session. He went on to win numerous accolades, including the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals-East Coast, the ASPCA Maclay Finals, North American Junior and Young Riders Championships team gold and more. He competed three horses in the International Hunter Derby Championship this year, with Over Fences Farm LLC's Sidarta and Lovely Charity qualifying for the Section A Handy Hunter, placing 13th and 19th overall, respectively.
The $10,000 Derby Challenge, presented by the USHJA, attracted 40 competitors and allowed those who didn't qualify for the Section A or Section B Handy Hunter Rounds to return with a clean slate. The class was held at 3 p.m., prior to the Section A and B Handy Hunter Rounds, and gave competitors another opportunity to compete in the Rolex Stadium over an impressive Handy Hunter course.
Tracy Fenney will now return home to Flower Mound, Texas, with a blue ribbon and check for $3,000 after claiming first aboard MTM Silver Alert. Grace Tuton and Lautento placed eighth and received the top Amateur-Owner Award, while Alexandra Pielet placed 10th with Common Sense and earned the top Junior-Owner Award.
The evening also featured a 10th anniversary celebration center ring, where the winners of the first nine editions of the championship received a canvas print commemorating their victory.
Since 2008, the USHJA International Hunter Derby Program has paid out more than $12.3 million. This year 279 horses were enrolled in the program from more than 32 states and Canada.
Clemens and Boyd were presented with this year's Shapley's Best Turned Out Award. Sally Stith-Burdette was on hand to present groom Alberto Ramirez with a Shapley's Awards Package.
Additional awards presented included the 2018 Championship Qualifying Series winners.
The USHJA thanks Show Manager Hugh Kincannon and Grounds Supervisor Rob Murphy for their assistance with the Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.
"Hugh and I have worked together for 10 years, and he must have called me in one hour 10 times telling me where the lightning was," said Danta. "Hugh is an amazing horse show manager, and I really want to thank him. His whole team does an amazing job."
The USHJA thanks the Official Sponsors who helped to make these championships possible, including: Charles Owen, Inc., the Official Helmet of the USHJA; CWD, the Official Saddle of the USHJA; Parlanti International, the Official Riding Boot of the USHJA; Professional's Choice, the Official Horse Boot of the USHJA; Rood & Riddle, the Official Equine Hospital and Veterinary Pharmacy; Platinum Performance, title sponsor of the Green Hunter Incentive and International Hunter Derby Championships; The Clothes Horse, the Official Cooler of the Championships; EQSportsNet, the Official Host Broadcast; Hunter Championship Award Sponsors: Essex Classics, FITS Riding, and Shapley's; and Supporting Sponsors Envisian and Nightwatch™.
EQSportsNet provided live stream coverage and offers on-demand videos from this year's Derby Championship. USHJA members receive a 50 percent discount on their monthly EQSportsNet subscription using code USHJA2018. Please visit eqsports.net for more information.
For full coverage, please look for the September print issue of USHJA In Stride. For more information about the 2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, visit IHD Championship.